Lately, more and more people are moving away from traditional industry super funds. The direction of this flow has been largely towards self-managed super funds. For many, this has been a question of maximising their account’s balance. However, for others, it is a question of ethics. People used to be quite disengaged with their super funds, but now there is a growing interest in super and how it is accrued. Self-managed super fund management is no easy task: it requires extensive research and consideration. Particularly if one is thinking of investing ethically.
Some people really don’t want their super to be invested in environmental hazards like coal seam gas, or logging. And these have been mainstay investments for traditional funds. No wonder discerning investors are moving away from these things. In fact, many who are disengaged with their super may not even be aware of this. And traditionally, those who use SMSFs have been very engaged. Perhaps as knowledge of traditional funds’ investments becomes more widely known, there will be an increase in SMSFs amongst the general population. For now, most these are high-net worth individuals, without hundreds of thousands in their funds already. Many also have a background in investment or finance. However, even with this background, most seek professional advice and management services. SMSFs are complicated, and require constantly attention, expert knowledge, and dedication.
Even in urban centres like Melbourne it can be hard to get good quality SMSF advice. Recent legislation now limits who can and cannot give SMSF investment advice. Your accountant– who may have ordinarily helped with the management of your SMSF– will now need a specific license to help in these matters. Even in urban centres like Melbourne, your best bet is to find a financial advisor with experience or specialty in SMSF management. Surely, with the interest in ethical super, too, there will soon be SMSF advisors specialising in such investments.